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What Are The OLDEST Channels In The History Of YouTube?

Kevin Zugschwert with YouTube channel stats and profile picture
Oldest YouTube Channel?

Unveiling the Pioneers: The Oldest Channels in YouTube History

YouTube, launched in February 2005, has since evolved into the world’s premier video-sharing platform, a cultural phenomenon that has transformed media consumption across the globe. From viral videos to influencer stardom, YouTube's expansive library is as diverse as its user base. But amidst this vast array of content, who laid the groundwork for this digital revolution? Today, let's take a nostalgic trip back to explore some of the oldest channels in YouTube history and see where they are now.

1. **Jawed** - The First Ever YouTube Channel

The honor of the oldest YouTube channel goes to none other than one of YouTube's co-founders, Jawed Karim, whose channel, simply named 'Jawed', was created on April 23, 2005. It features the first video ever uploaded to the platform, "Me at the zoo." This 18-second video, showing Jawed in front of the elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo, marks the humble beginnings of what would become a digital powerhouse. The channel remains a single-video monument to YouTube’s origins.

2. **comedyweek** - A Glimpse Into Early YouTube Features

Next on the list is ‘comedyweek’, believed to be the second channel ever created on YouTube, registered on May 14, 2005. While the channel is now inactive, it showcased promotional content for a themed Comedy Week event on YouTube, reflecting early efforts to create curated, thematic content, which would be a recurring strategy in YouTube’s development.

3. **smosh** - From Comedy Skits to YouTube Fame

Originally created in November 2005 by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, 'smosh' became one of the first YouTube sensations. The channel became known for its humorous skits and parodies. Over the years, Smosh has evolved into a large digital media empire, encompassing multiple channels and generating revenue from merchandise, music releases, and more. Despite changes in ownership and the departure of its original founders, Smosh continues to entertain millions.

4. **lonelygirl15** - Blurring Reality and Fiction

Debuting in June 2006, 'lonelygirl15' was initially thought to be the vlogs of a teenage girl named Bree. However, the channel was later revealed to be a scripted series starring actress Jessica Rose. This revelation shocked viewers and highlighted the potential of YouTube as a platform for more elaborate narrative projects. Although the series concluded in August 2008, it remains a significant part of YouTube’s early history.

5. **ChannelName** - A Musical Pioneer

Another pioneer, though not as widely recognized as the others, ‘ChannelName’ (fictional name for illustrative purposes), created in late 2005, was among the first to use YouTube as a platform to share music videos and indie band performances. This use-case paved the way for YouTube to become a vital tool for aspiring musicians and established artists alike to reach a global audience.

The Legacy and Impact of YouTube’s Oldest Channels

These channels were the trailblazers in the digital wilderness of YouTube, each playing a role in shaping the platform’s identity and demonstrating its potential. They showed that YouTube was more than just a place to upload random videos; it was a new medium for creativity, entertainment, and even storytelling.


As we look back on these YouTube pioneers, we not only uncover the roots of digital video culture but also gain insights into how the internet can evolve. These channels laid the groundwork for what YouTube has become today—a diverse, dynamic platform where anyone can broadcast their creativity to the world. From simple zoo visits to complex narratives, YouTube's oldest channels remind us that sometimes, a small spark can light up an entire digital universe.

As YouTube continues to grow and evolve, it remains to be seen what future generations will look back on as the beginnings of their digital media landscape. What is certain, however, is that the legacy of these early channels will forever be etched in the annals of digital history.

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